For one, TV GRPs don’t control for frequency, and that could be an issue in digital environments.
“There is the potential for [Facebook] to deliver very high TRPs but with low reach and high frequency in a short period of time,” said Richard Joyce, senior analyst in programmatic media for Forrester Research. “How are marketers going manage [TRP buying] without wasting media?”
There’s also the niggling question of whether a mobile video has the same impact as a TV ad on a big screen. Joyce cited a study by Innerscope that showed that video ads on Facebook were four times less engaging than TV ads.
“How are marketers going to use that medium in the same way to drive emotion through sight sound and motion, knowing that, for the most part, they’ve found that it’s not as engaging as what you would get from TV?” Joyce asked.
But if consumers aren’t watching TV as much, that may be a moot point.
“Mobile video is a key point of disruption,” said Dentsu Aegis CEO Nigel Morris. Testing TRP buying enables the agency to “match dramatically changing consumer behavior.”
As digital media companies adopt metrics that look and feel like TV – Facebook’s TRP being one – some have said this is a step backward. That, in fact, it’s TV that needs to adopt the precision and addressability of digital.
But for marketers, there’s real power in unifying metrics, no matter the unit of measurement.
“This is not about taking a step back from the great targeting opportunities that digital offers,” Zarate-Bayani said, “but more about making these targeting capabilities accessible to more folks because it’s in a language that many others are accustomed to.”